Senator Karen Spilka Re-Appointed Chair of Economic Development

By contributor,

Confirming the need for engaged and steadfast leadership during challenging economic times, Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) was re-appointed the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies by Senate President Therese Murray yesterday. Having served for the past two years as Chair, the appointment means that Senator Spilka will serve in that capacity for another two year term.

“I am honored to serve once again as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies,” stated Senator Spilka. “We are at a crucial point in our economic development efforts to continue our recovery and ensure that businesses all over the state can put out the ‘Help Wanted’ sign again. I look forward to continuing my efforts – in understanding the needs of businesses, in developing a statewide plan for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and working with individuals who are unemployed or underemployed – to grow our economy and create jobs. I am proud of the results I have produced for my district and the Commonwealth, and am looking forward to getting back to work.”

Senator Spilka’s achievements while Chair of Economic Development include the passage of an economic development reform law that revolutionizes the way the state does business, increasing capital for small businesses so they can hire more workers, making it easier for businesses to get the help they need from the state to start or grow here, and establishing a streamlined, cohesive economic development model with built-in oversight and transparency to reduce redundancy and waste. Included in this initiative was the creation of the Mass Marketing Partnership, which will better market Massachusetts both within the United States and abroad to attract global businesses. Also included was the development of a MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau, which will promote the cultural and natural attractions of this growing and vibrant region.

Senator Spilka also oversaw the passage of important legislation on clean energy and broadband access expansion. Last session, she conducted a statewide listening tour to hear the concerns of businesses and workers. Many of the ideas discussed in these sessions were included in the economic development reform bill.

In addition to her re-appointment to the Economic Development Committee, Senator Spilka was re-appointed Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules and a member of both the Senate Ways and Means Committee, through which the finances of the state are considered and distributed, and the Senate Committee on Global Warming. She was also named to the Joint Committee on Revenue, the Joint Committee on Transportation, and the Special Senate Committee on Redistricting. Senator Spilka is also Senate Chair of the Jobs Creation Commission, charged with studying the economy in order to create ways to keep good jobs in Massachusetts.

Senator Spilka will provide leadership in a number of other areas, continuing as Senate Chair of the BioTech Legislative Caucus and the MetroWest Legislative Caucus. Fully committed to tackling the challenge of creating 20th century schools that will train the workforce of the innovation economy, she continues to serve on the Goddard Council for STEM Education and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. This session, she has also been named Senate Chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, dedicated to advancing women in elected positions.

Prior to her appointment to the Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee, Senator Spilka was named the first Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities upon her election to the Senate in 2005.

Senator Spilka represents Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, as well as precincts 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in Franklin and precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 in Natick. She will release her legislative agenda for the 2011-2012 session in the next coming days.